TSTT CEO Ronald Walcott

Animae Caribe partners with bmobile for StopMotion Competition

TSTT Corporate Communications

Press Release

As part of its 20th-anniversary celebration, Animae Caribe, the organisation behind the Caribbean's premiere Animation and Digital Media Festival, has partnered with leading local telecommunications provider, bmobile to host a mobile stop motion competition open to local animation enthusiasts.

The Animae Caribe | bmobile 2021 StopMo-Mobile Competition is aimed at encouraging creators across the Caribbean who are interested in telling a short but creative and compelling story through the medium of stop motion animation. Participants simply need to create a quick, 30-45 second feature with their smartphone and submit it to be considered. For persons unfamiliar with the term 'stop-motion', they may have already enjoyed it in animated movies such as The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline, Kubo and the Two Strings, Missing Link and Chicken Run. Understanding that the format is popular with children and teenagers, the competition has been made open to participants from ages 12 years and up.

Founder and Director Camille Selvon Abrahams is pleased to see the development of the space and believes there is no better time for such a competition. "For our 20th anniversary, we wanted to bring that element of public engagement through competition. We also felt that the time is right as we have a very different public to engage compared to the start of our journey at Animae Caribe. When we began, starting with the Festival, there was no local industry for animation and it was not considered a career path back in 2001," she added. "Today we have achieved much more interest and awareness and also have a more qualified audience too," she noted. Selvon Abrahams has consulted with schools and examination boards in the region to bring digital arts to the CAPE Level for Secondary School studies and is also Lead for Animation Studies at The University of Trinidad and Tobago. "Another aspect we considered when planning this was that we are seeing that students are frustrated and their mental health has suffered during the pandemic. The Stop-Mo Festival will allow them to express their creativity, whether they have experience in the space or not, and have a chance to learn and compete for fun prizes too," Abrahams highlighted.

As one of the earliest corporate entities to partner with the organisation and Festival, Gerard Cooper, General Manager – Shared Services at TSTT noted the strides made in the Caribbean. "When this Festival was first suggested, very few people would have foreseen that in just two decades, we would have animation and digital media studies available in T&T at the Secondary School and tertiary education levels. This is an exciting prospect not just for those involved but also for all as a country - as we finally have the skillset and the people to participate in the global multi-billion dollar industry," he noted. "Another exciting aspect of the Stop-Mo Festival is that it simply requires some planning, creativity and the smartphone you already own - no additional technical aspects needed. So, we look forward to seeing the entries and stories that emerge." Animae Caribe's founder Abrahams echoed this, "bmobile was one of the few companies that saw the vision in 2001 and were one of our primary partners for the first few years of the Festival. So with the idea to use the smartphone as part of this, it's a natural fit."

Brad Schiff, the Lead Animator for LAIKA Studios and one of the competition's judges, will also be offering a segment on tips and tricks so that participants can learn more about creating their own entry for the Festival. Founded in 2005 near Portland, Oregon, LAIKA has had five films nominated for Oscars® and PGA Awards for Outstanding Animated Film. The official competition site also features a short stop-mo done by Schiff to guide participants further.
The theme of the competition is, “Lockdown but not Lockdown,” and the deadline for submitting entries is October 10th, 2021. Other competition details are available on the Festival's website alongside other entry criteria. bmobile will offer a range of prizes, scholarships, devices, bmobile data plans alongside other Animae Caribe hampers and memorabilia. Selected winners will also be submitted to international Smartphone Film Festivals.

The Animae Caribe Festival attracts international interest with top animators from major studios such as Dreamworks, Aardman, Pixar, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon coming to T&T over the years and sharing knowledge and know-how with potential, novice and professional animators. While based in T&T, the Festival has been showcased in Barbados, Jamaica, Suriname, and an Expo in Washington courtesy of the International Development Bank (IDB).

For more information, visit www.AnimaeCaribe.com.